Skin colouring & Characteristics


Skin colouring & Characteristics


Remember this is just a guide of typical characteristics linked to skin colour and ethnicity. Also mixed ethnicity may have many traits linked across a variety of ethnicities.

Black skin


          This skin has the most melanocytes– therefore has more protection from UV light and sun damage

  • Sebaceous activity gives good lubrication and moisture, resulting in a slower aging process
  • Cell renewal is fast, as the skin desquamates well
  • Collagen and elastin fibres are strong with good support preventing poor muscle tone
  • Keloid scarring can occur when skin is damaged
  • Although the epidermis is thicker, harsh products should be avoided.
  • Dermatosis apulose nigra occurs exclusively in black skins and more so in women. The condition forms brown to black lesions that resemble moles.
  • Pseudofolliculitis barbae hairs are susceptible to growing back into the follicle, due to the natural curls, this can cause an inflammatory reaction (PIH) which results in tender spots. These spots often become infected and filled with pus and can be mistaken for acne.  Shaving is a main cause of this condition, waxing can also be a cause.

Mediterranean/Latino skin



    Darker, olive skin tones – for people who live along the Mediterranean coast line – Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, France

  • Sebaceous glands produce more oil to lubricate skin in the heat and rarely suffers from blemishes
  • Hair tones are darker, which makes facial hair more visible
  • Skin is strong and robust with good protection from melanocytes and tans well in the sun

White/Caucasian skin



  • Relatively thin skin – blood capillaries visible – also prone to broken capillaries
  • Fewer and less sebaceous glands – therefore fine in texture
  • Prone to burning in the sun due to less melanocytes
  • Also ages and wrinkles prematurely
  • Blue / pink tones
  • Some skin tones can be darker, particularly if the parents have brown or black hair
  • Red haired and blonde haired people have quite sensitive skin

East Asian and Southeast Asian



  • Skin rarely shows blemishes, but can develop hyper-pigmentation, scarring and unevenness – therefore be careful if extracting blackheads.
  • Ages slower than white skin – good tolerance to UV light
  • Sebaceous glands are more active in the T-zone area, but not excessive
  • Yellow and olive undertones

South Asian and Middle Eastern



  • Melanin is quite high and skin tone can be yellow to dark
  • More sweat glands – which can give a sheen – not to be mistaken for oiliness
  • A strong skin, with supporting fibres – therefore ages well
  • Pigmentation problems – particularly around and under the eyes
  • Excess dark hair can be visible on the face and body